Japanese rail firm rolls out VR-piloted Gundam robotic employee

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The West Japan Rail Firm has launched video of its new humanoid heavy tools robotic. Mounted on the tip of a crane, this gundam-style robotic torso mimics the arm and head motions of a human pilot, who sees via the robotic’s eyes by way of VR goggles.

The important thing targets right here, in response to the corporate, are “to enhance productiveness and security,” enabling staff to raise and naturally manipulate heavy tools across the rail system with out exposing them to the danger of electrical shocks or falling.

The robotic’s massive torso is mounted to a hydraulic crane arm, which rides across the rail system on a specifically braced rail automobile, placing down stabilizing legs when it is time to get to work.

A human pilot places on a set of VR goggles, that are motion-tracked to manage the actions of a Wall-E-style head with stereo imaginative and prescient. Gripping a pair of handles, the pilot is ready to transfer the robotic’s arms and palms – and if an exterior drive like a weight strikes the robotic’s arms, this movement is mirrored again to the pilot’s controls.

The robot is mounted on a rail maintenance car
The robotic is mounted on a rail upkeep automobile

JR West

A video launched on Twitter exhibits the robotic lifting and positioning some fairly sizeable elements, in addition to cleansing overhead rail constructions with a particular multi-angle brush. It grips all these instruments in what appear like comparatively easy clamp-like “palms,” exhibiting an inexpensive diploma of dexterity, albeit working at a reasonably sluggish pace.

The pilot moves a pair of handles to control the robot's arms and hands, and these handles also deliver force feedback to the pilot when external forces move the robot's arms, or prevent them from moving
The pilot strikes a pair of handles to manage the robotic’s arms and palms, and these handles additionally ship drive suggestions to the pilot when exterior forces transfer the robotic’s arms, or forestall them from transferring

JR West

Usually, any try and make a robotic look humanoid would make us suppose it most likely would not work in addition to it may if it did not look humanoid. However on this case, it is sensible: the pilot can shortly acquire a kinetic really feel for working the robotic, since its arms and head are in acquainted locations relative to 1 one other.

JR West is creating this machine in partnership with Human Equipment co. and Nippon Sign co. We won’t divine what’s subsequent for this broad-shouldered beast from the press launch, however you’ll be able to benefit from the video beneath.

Supply: JR West

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